Community News for Sheffield & Ashley Falls, MA SECOND GENERATION Vol.VII, Issue 2 Nov./Dec. 2007
BUILDING SLOWDOWN AFFECTS SHEFFIELD
In much of the U.S., housing starts, home
values and building activity are down, and
home foreclosures, contractor bankrupt-
cies and job losses in the construction
industry are up. Bank and other construc-
tion financing has virtually disappeared.
Sheffield's building industry is one of the
town's most important businesses. How
is it weathering the storm?
According to most of the two dozen
industry participants interviewed for this
article, things look brighter in Sheffield
than in other parts of the country. Shef-
field Building Inspector Tom Carmody
reports that building permits for Shef-
field projects are down, but only by
about 10 percent over last year. (New
Marlborough's building permits are actu-
ally up by about 10 percent.) The permit
applications he is seeing tend to be more
for smaller, less-expensive projects such
as modular homes, small additions and
renovations, repairs and accessory struc-
tures like garages, sheds, barns, pools and
pool houses and tennis courts.
Tom says that local builder Coun-
try Classics told him that the company
erected no modular homes in 2007 until
September, when it accepted orders for
17 homes in the southern Berkshires
and northwest Connecticut. Customers
include first-time homeowners and those
building a second home. "People seem to
be building what they can afford to do
today rather than waiting for financing
for more ambitious projects to become
available," says Tom.
Large on-going projects are expected
KELLOGG NAMED TOWN ADMINISTRATOR
After a five-month search, Joseph Kellogg, Stockbridge Plain School into town offices
Sheffield's Interim Town Manager since
early summer, has been named Sheffield's
Town Administrator by the Board of
Selectmen at their Oct.
15 meeting. He won the
position over 17 other
Joe has more than
25 years of municipal
experience. He previ-
ously served as town
manager in Lenox and
Great Barrington, as well
as town administrator
in Chester. Currently,
he is completing service
as project manager for
the conversion of the Joe Kellogg
and rental space.
Joe has a bachelor's degree in geogra-
phy fom Framingham State College and
a master's degree in
urban geography from
in Ohio. He lives in
Lenox with his wife,
Barbara, where he
serves on the Lenox
They have one grown
daughter and two
Joe replaces Bob
Weitz, who left in
June to take a position
to keep a lot of local builders, subcontrac-
tors and their employees busy for some
time to come. They include the Berkshire
School renovation and expansion project
currently underway (part of a 10-year
plan estimated to cost more than $100
million), the Plains School conversion
into town offices in Stockbridge, two
large condo developments in Lenox and
several projects in the Pittsfield area.
In addition, several million and multi-
million dollar homes are being built or
planned on spec by developers in South
County and northwest Connecticut.
Middle-level builders with large
overheads and capital costs and employ-
ees to keep on the payroll may be feeling
the slowdown the most. Several people
involved in the building trades say they've
heard about layoffs by troubled develop-
ers and contractors. But at the same time
other builders — particularly the smaller
operations — are desperate for carpenters,
masons and other skilled craftspeople.
Bill DeVries of DeVries Building
Supply on Berkshire School Rd. says
that there has definitely been a general
slowdown in construction activity in the
area and some contractors and developers
seem to be hurting. But his business has
not suffered like that of some larger re-
gional building supply companies, which
he attributes to his large and loyal clien-
tele of small to middle range contractors
and subcontractors. His company makes
a big effort to be sensitive to customers'
needs and works with them to provide
superior delivery, bidding support and
Jim Collingwood of Collingwood
Continued on page 3
In This Issue
Old Parish pastor
Profile: Jim Boltrom
Profile: Hilary Russell
Sheffield in Celebration photos
New postal clerk
School budget quandary
Library news, recommended reading
Berkshire School, SBRSD news
Shakespeare at Mt. Everett
New Senior Center update
Board of Selectmen meeting minutes
Town Clerk 1 9
Planning Board 20
Police Dept., Broadband Committee 21
Organizations & Businesses
Profile:Webster Ingersoll 22
Land Trust, Cobble news 23
Kiwanis, Historical Society.Audubon 25
Real Estate transfers, Fire log 26
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ASHLEY FALLS HOUSE EXPLODES
On Oct. 13 Ren and Natale Marasco's house on Valley View
Rd. in Ashley Falls exploded. Sixteen Sheffield volunteer
fire fighters responded and quickly put out the resulting
fire, with help from the fire departments from Great
Barrington, Canaan, Norfolk and Lakeville. During the action,
the Egremont Fire Dept. stood by to cover any additional
calls at the Sheffield station. The Marascos, who were not
home at the time, lost everything — furniture, clothes and
the basement machine shop that housed Natales business.
The fire is under investigation by Massachusetts state fire
marshals, said Rick Boardman, Sheffield's fire chief.
FOLK MUSIC AT DEWEY HALL
ITie Sheffield Friendly Union is presenting a series of concerts,
"In Person, Acoustic, and In the Round" this season at Dewey
Hall on Route 7 in Sheffield. The Dewey Hall Folk Series is
designed to bring local and regional music to the area and to put
to continued good use
the warm, cozy room
that is Dewey Hall.
Admission is reason-
able, access is easy
and the atmosphere is
The first concert,
on Nov. 3, will feature
Kelly Hagan, Chuck
Williams, Todd Mack
and Chris Merenda.
On Dec. 1, the series will feature Robby Baier, Tom Inger-
soll, Tony Lee Thomas and a special guest.
Show times are 7:30pm.The suggested donation for all
shows is $5. Refreshments will be served. For more informa-
tion, call 413-822-1602.
Here's where to find out more
about artists in the series:
Chuck Williams: www.myspace.com/
Todd Mack: www.toddmack.net
Tony Lee Thomas: www.
Tom Ingersoll: www.tomingersoll.com
Robby Baier: www.robbybaier.com
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Community Newsletter for
Sheffield ck Ashley Falls, MA
Editors: Kathy Orlando &. Andrea Scott
Library Editor: Peter Rowntree
Advertising Sales: Tara White
Distribution: Inez Flinn. Staff: Sandy
&. Dale Alden, Kathie Dean, Rae East-
man, Fred Gordon, Gillian Hettinger,
Ellen Rowntree, Judy Schumer, Ellen
Weiss, Barbara West, John Wightman
The Sheffield Association
P.O. Box 1339
Sheffield, MA 01257
Working since 2001 to foster communication
among the people, businesses, and organizations
of Sheffield and Ashley Falls
Photo credits: Kathy Orlando, pages 1, 14,15, 24,
28. Pam Bloodworth, 2. Judy Schumer, 4, 11. Ellen
Rowntree, page 5,11. Berkshire School, 8. John G.
Wightman, 11. Pauline Clarke, page 13. Police
Dept., 21. Liz Chaffee, 22.
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Sheffield, MA 01257
LIGHTING THE TOWN CHRISTMAS TREE, A SHEFFIELD TRADITION
The 80 th lighting of the Town Christ-
mas tree will be held on Sun., Dec. 9, at
6:30pm on the Town Green followed by
carol singing and an ecumenical service
in Old Parish Church. All members of
the community are invited. The service
will be led by area clergy, an ecumenical
choir will sing, and the Mt. Everett High
School Band will play.
According to a story in the December
1992 Sheffield Times, Frank Percy initi-
ated the first celebration, and it has been
held every year but one since 1927, the
cancellation occurring during the Second
World War when lights were not used
for fear of German bombing attacks. The
first tree was cut and brought from Edwin
Boardman's Pine Grove Farm on Hewins
St. Since strands of colored lights could
not be purchased for decoration, Sheffield
men crafted strings from standard-sized
light bulbs and made a collar at the top of
the tree from which the lights were hung
in strands for all to enjoy. Jim Colling-
wood, currently atown Selectman, recalls
using an outlet located in the concrete tub
at the north end of the Green for electric-
ity. Carl Schumann, a long-time resident
of Sheffield, remembers climbing a ladder
to attach the tree's lights to an outlet from
a telephone pole. The ornaments at that
time, he says, were wooden.
After the first tree was cut and
brought to the Green, the Town dis-
covered it was difficult to protect cut
trees from ice and wind. Wayne Joseph,
another long-time resident, recalls more
than once being called out in the middle
ASHLEY FALLS TREE
The tree on the green in Ashley Falls,
taller than the one at Rockefeller
center, will be lit on Saturday, Dec.
8 at 4pm. Everyone is welcome to
this festive event, which is geared to
children. There will be haywagon rides
and hot cocoa and cider.
A drawing is held to see which child
flips the switch to light the tree. Each $5
donation buys a chance; donations cover
the cost of repairing the lights each
year. For more information, call Richard
Cherneff at 229-5958.
of the night to retrieve an errant tree
from the center of Route 7. Planted trees,
on the other hand, usually died, the vic-
tims, it was thought, of the salt used on
the highway. The current tree, located to
the north of Old Parish Church and well
back from the road, was planted in 2001.
The service commemorating the Tree's
lighting goes back to at least 1969, when
Julie Markham Hannum, another Select-
man, remembers playing in the band as a
7 th grader. Stories abound of lips freezing
to brass instruments when the tempera-
ture dipped to 2 degrees.
For at least 30 years, the tree lighting
party has moved into Old Parish Meet-
ing House — constructed in 1760, it is
the oldest church building in Berkshire
County — for more singing and liturgy. At
first a small brass contingent accompanied
the singing, playing from the vestibule. In
1992 Art Kaufman, pastor of Old Parish
Church at that time, invited Eric Black-
burn and the full Mt. Everett Band to play
and the whole band moved inside.
Through the years, not just the
Congregational minister, but all town
clergy have been invited to participate.
At the service Dec. 9, clergy from all area
churches will be invited. Last year a large
community choir representing all faith
traditions, including Jewish, sang. For
many years the Sheffield Garden club was
a host and provided refreshments. After
the most recent service, cookies were pro-
vided by members of the several churches
and served by Cub Scouts. The offering
was given to The Good Samaritan Fund,
which provides emergency assistance
to local people in need. Outside, the
tree, transplanted from Tony Gulotta's
property and placed by the Town, was
decorated by Barrett Tree Service.
— John G. Wightman
Building SlOWdOWn, continued from page 7
Transport Inc., a Sheffield trucking company on Route 7, agrees that
there has been a slowdown, but says his business has also held up well,
thanks to work he is doing on the Berkshire School project and other
Availability of financing will be key to whether things improve or
grow worse in the Berkshire's construction business. In previous slow-
downs, things have worked out for locals who don't get overextended.
According to local contractor David Blacklow,"When money is
cheap and easy, building flourishes. When a credit crunch occurs,
borrowers and lenders get skittish and reluctant to undertake big and
The real test may come next year, when projects now in the pipeline have
been completed and contractors are scrambling to win scarce new business.
While there is currently a flurry of bidding activity, price competition has got-
ten much fiercer, and some contractors are being forced to underprice their
bids. Even some high-end contractors worry about what they will be doing
when their current book of business has been completed.
But there is reason for optimism. Several local building suppliers and
contractors said that the local building industry has proved to be rela-
tively resilient and recession-proof over the years, including the Great
Depression in the 1930s, mainly because so much of the demand comes
from wealthy homeowners, who demand excellent work and are willing
to wait until they can get it. • — Peter Rowntree
FIREMAN INJURED IN RESCUE
On Sept. 23, the Sheffield Fire Dept. was called
for a mountain rescue. A 13-year-old boy had been
badly burned in a cooking accident some distance
up Sage's Ravine. Fifteen Sheffield volunteers
rushed to the site.
To get the injured boy down the mountain, he
was strapped to a stretcher and two firemen equipped
with chainsaws widened the path to get the stretcher
through. A boulder loosened by a log started to roll
down the steep slope toward the men bearing the
stretcher. Without a second thought, Joe Gulotta threw
himself into the boulder's path and stopped it with his
body. Joe suffered injuries to his right ankle.
The rescue crew got Joe and the burned boy off
the mountain with ATVs and the rescue wagon. The
injured hiker went to Sharon Hospital via Salisbury
ambulance. Joe was taken to Fairview Hospital by a
Southern Berkshire ambulance. Joe has now recovered
fully after missing a week of work.
The rescue was the second call for a mountain res-
cue answered by Sheffield in the month of September.
The Lakeville Fire Dept. assisted with both these calls.
— Peter Rowntree
HILARY RUSSELL: CRAFTING BOATS AND POEMS
On Berkshire School Rd., just across
from the turn onto Salisbury Rd.,
you can often see a wood-ribbed
canoe King on its side on the lawn
in front of a modest yellow house, a
small "tor sale" sign propped against
its rim. The canoe looks unusual, not
like the aluminum or fiberglass boats
common on our rivers and lakes. It
was made by hand in the workshop
behind the house by Hilary Russell,
Sheffield's own boatbuildcr, teacher,
writer and poet.
Hilary began building canoes
only 10 years ago when, as an
English teacher at Berkshire School,
he began offering an after-school
activity in boatbuilding. And that
decision, in 1997, changed the direc-
tion of his life.
Hilary's father was a ship
builder and repairer in Greenpoint,
Brooklyn. Although Hilary never
worked in the shipyard or in the
family's tugboat business, he thinks
that perhaps on some level, that
early exposure may have inspired
Hilary Russell and one of his creations
poet Molly Peacock who was one of
the creators of the "Poetry in Mo-
tion" program. Later, he started his
own imprint, the Outland Press, to
publish works of local color by au-
thors whose voices might otherwise
not be heard.
In 1985, Berkshire School was
looking for a new English depart-
ment chair and Hilary and his family
found themselves back in Sheffield.
He continued writing and in 1993
published a book of poetry, Giving
Up the House. And then came the
idea that became his passion.
"While I was taking a sabbatical
from Berkshire School in 1997," he
said, "I was thinking about what I
might do with the kids as an after-
school program, since they all have
to participate in either a sport or an
activity. I built two plywood canoes,
really liked making them and asked
the school if I could teach a boat-
building class. That's basically how it
After teaching the first class and
him later on. But first came his career as teacher and poet. building 12 canoes, he took a course in Brooklin, ME, in wood-
After attending Villanova University in Pennsylvania, en boatbuilding. Then, he came across a "skin-on" frame boat.
Hilary taught English at St. Paul's School in Garden City, Long This type of boat uses a wooden frame over which a waterproof
Island, and then at Berkshire School in Sheffield. He went back skin is stretched and attached. Such boats are much lighter in
to school for his Master's degree in liberal studies and literature weight than commercially made canoes,
at Wesleyan University, where he met his wife, Jane "Jenny" "Aboriginal people," he said, "made these kinds of frame
Hamlin. They moved to Pennsylvania's Brandywine Valley and boats with animal skins stretched over them. Today, I use nylon
he taught English and eventually became department chair at
the Tower Hill School in nearby Wilmington.
Hilary began to write poetry about the beautiful rural
region where he lived. He studied poetry with famed American
and polyester as the skin."
In 1998, with a grant from Berkshire School, Hilary trav-
eled to Ireland to study Irish currachs, boats unique to the
west coasts of Ireland and Scotland that are similar to cora-
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cles, the small, lightweight skin-on boats of Wales. Coracles
are basically floating baskets — they are made of a woven
curved wooden frame on top of which a covering, perhaps of
canvas, is stretched.
"I was fascinated by these seemingly simple boats that func-
tioned so well in the water. In 2000, 1 went to see more coracles
in England and Wales and spent time in the coracle museum in
Carmarthenshire, Wales, where they display frame boats from
all over the world."
In 2005, Hilary retired from Berkshire School to become
a full-time boatbuilder. First, he worked for four months as
a beginning boatbuilder at a boatyard in Athens, NY, which
builds electric launches for use as pleasure boats. But he
realized that he was more interested in making the boats
he had seen in Ireland and Wales. A year later, he met with
Wendy Jensen, a nationally known basket weaver who lives
in Great Barrington, to learn about different weaving meth-
ods. Last winter, with the students at the Indian Mountain
School in Lakeville, CT, Hilary built a woven boat known as
a"Sheephaven Curroch." Wendy Jensen came to the school to
teach the necessary weaving techniques and then Hilary and
the children built the boat.
"The kids really enjoyed doing this and I loved teaching
them — and the result was terrific. The curroch now hangs
above the entry of the lower school in Lakeville."
Hilary's current life still centers around teaching. He teaches
composition and creative writing at Berkshire Community Col-
lege and is in charge of its literary magazine. But the focus of
his teaching, his true vocation, is boatbuilding.
The workshop at the rear of his Berkshire School Rd.
property is the home of his boatbuilding school. More than
60 people have taken his one-week course. When the class is
done, students take home their boats. More recently, he has
offered weekend classes in places that attract people who are
interested in building things. He has held these classes in the
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Yestermorrow Design/
Build School in Warren, VT, and Great Camp Sagamore in
Racquette Lake, NY.
"The people who come there have an interest in boats and
may have had other woodworking experience. We build the ca-
noe together and, at the end of the weekend, the boat is raffled
off to one of the students."
Here in Sheffield, the workshop is still open to anyone
who wants the unique experience of building his or her own
canoe. Hilary prepares a wooden "kit" the student will spend a
week putting together. The cost is about $1,000 for an 11 -foot
double-paddle canoe that weighs only 20 pounds. It is so light
that it can be easily carried or put on a car by one person. A
tandem, 14-foot canoe is about $1,300.
Hilary continues to hone his craft, literary and aquatic. He's
writing a book about the three generations of the Russell family
who worked in the harbor of New York from 1848 to 1962.
And he is now designing his own rowing boat. Perhaps before
long we will see a new type of boat for sale in front of his house
on Berkshire School Rd. — Judith Schumer
at the post
NEW FACE AT THE POST OFFICE
In early August, Edgar Zukauskas began working at the Shef-
field Post Office as a new sales and services associate. He joined
Betsy Ross and Kelly Hall, also sales and services associates,
and Ellen Dripps, Sheffield's Postmaster.
As the owner of Ice House Studio, a photography studio
on Main St. in Great Barrington, Edgar is already well known
to many in the Sheffield community as a wedding and portrait
photographer. He lives in New Marlborough with his partner,
one dog, two cats and a horse. He is very involved in town
Born in Hartford, CT, and raised there and in Germany
and Chicago, Edgar first came to the Berkshires to attend
Marlborough Academy. After graduating from Cornwall
Academy in Great Barrington in 1972, he studied photog-
raphy and graphic arts at Berkshire Community College.
He then traveled and worked in Europe, returning to the
Berkshires in 1978 to work for the Berkshire Courier for
13 years in various positions, including as a photographer.
When the paper went out of business, he opened a pho-
tography studio in Mill River, which he moved to Great
Barrington seven years ago.
He started working with the post office four years ago when
he began delivering mail in Southfield, helping a friend who
was a contract carrier for the post office. He expanded this to
help with contract dispatch driving in Egremont, Southfield
and Mill River. In 2006 he was hired by the post office in South
Egremont as a "casual clerk," a non-career position in which he
filled in during holiday times and when regular postal clerks
were on vacation.
Because he enjoyed the work, Edgar decided to take the
postal exam last July. He passed and was assigned to the Shef-
field post office in August. He works there six days a week,
sorting mail, working the front desk, and sharing other respon-
sibilities with Betsy, Kelly and Ellen.
According to Ellen, with the hiring of Edgar the Sheffield
post office is almost at full staff. She says, "We have another
clerk arriving soon and then we will have replaced the two
clerks who transferred earlier this year." Edgar says, "I feel lucky
that there happened to be an opening in Sheffield when I was
applying for a job. I particularly like working the window be-
cause I enjoy my Sheffield customers."
— Ellen Rowntree
SCHOOL BUDGET QUANDARY CONTINUES
On Oct. 10, New Marlborough's town
mooring overwhelmingly re j ected the
town's proposed assessment lor this year's
Southern Berkshire Regional School
District budget. The vote, at a standing-
room-only meeting, comes after a similar
rejection at Monterey's town meeting in
September. Rejection by two of the five
towns in the school district means that
the school budget has not been approved.
( Approval required four towns voting yes.)
SBRSD is now a step closer to a possible
takeover by the state Dept. of Education.
At the same meeting, New Marlbor-
ough's voters unanimously approved the
earmarking of $100,000 to cover legal
fees that might be incurred in a lawsuit by
New Marlborough against Sheffield and
perhaps the Dept. of Education. The suit
would be to force Sheffield to pay what
New Marlborough views as Sheffield's
"fair share" of the budget assessment.
That would be Sheffield's share de-
termined on the basis of the "per pupil,"
or "alternative," method ol budget alloca-
tion, as found in the regional agreement
among the five towns signed in 2002. At
its town meeting in May, Sheffield voted
for the "statutory method," which takes
into account a town's relative wealth. The
statutory method decreases Sheffield's
and Alford's share and increases that of
the other three towns. Using the statu-
tory method would save Sheffield about
$321,000 in this year's proposed budget.
At the School Committee meeting
held Oct. 11, the School Committee,
acting on a motion made by Sheffield
committee member Dek Tiller, voted to
reconsider the budget to see if expendi-
tures could be reduced enough for all the
towns to accept it.
Marcia Savage, a former member of the
School Committee (and a former presi-
dent of Manhattanville College), noted,
"As a practical matter, the only way to cut
the budget significantly would be to cut
staff. The problem with staff dismissals
is that they would be very disruptive and
extremely harmful to the schools."
At its meeting Oct. 18, the School
Committee determined there was no
practical way to reduce expenditures
by the $750,000 that would return the
assessments of Egremont, Monterey
and New Marlborough to their previous
levels. It voted unanimously not to cut
the budget, to the cheers of the audience
of some 150. A motion to return to the
alternative method of assessment failed
6-4, with Sheffield's members voting
against (a two-thirds vote is required for
passage). A motion by the Sheffield mem-
bers to use the statutory method failed
4-6, with the other towns voting against.
At the Oct. 11 meeting, Jeffry Wulf-
son, associate commissioner of the Dept.
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of Education, fielded questions from
School Committee members, school staff
and residents of the five towns. Many said
that the agency had mishandled this mat-
ter. Some suggested that it should have
clarified its regulations several years ago.
Others said it should not have permitted
Sheffield to go to the statutory method.
If the towns cannot reach agreement
by Dec. 1, the state may take over the
district. Given that the state has never
done this for financial reasons, what it will
mean is far from clear. Wulfson said at
that meeting that it does not mean that the
state will provide funding to the district.
The district administration and the School
Committee would remain in place and
function as before on a day-to-day basis,
he said, but the Dept, of Education would
have a veto right over financial matters,
including the preparation of the budget
for FY 2009. Indeed, under Massachusetts
law, the Commissioner of Education may
have the right to impose a budget on the
towns and force each to pay their shares as
determined by the statutory method, with-
out voter approval..
Wulfson also said that the state's
previously proposed "pothole" grants —
totaling about $177,000 to
New Marlborough, Egre-
mont and Monterey and
intended to cover about 50
percent of the increased as-
sessments they would have
to pay under the statutory
method — "remain on the
table." So far, no payments
have been made under the
grants, and it is unlikely
they will be made until a
resolution is reached.
Meanwhile, as required by the Dept.
of Education, the five towns continue to
fund the school on a month-by-month
basis. The amount of the budget is the
same as was originally proposed by the
School Committee for FY 2008, and each
town's share of the settlement is deter-
mined by the statutory method.
State representative "Smitty" Pignatelli
(D-Lenox) has proposed a mediation pro-
cedure to see if the five towns can agree on
a mutually acceptable solution. All towns
having accepted this suggestion, the first
meeting has been scheduled for Oct. 25 in
Great Barrington. As is customary under
these circumstances, the sessions will not
be open to the public.
— Peter Rowntree
UPDATE ON TOWN HALL PARKING LOT
In October, Sheffield's highway department worked
with Wilkinson Excavating to scrape, fill and roll the
parking area and then apply a "binder coat." That will be
all for this season. Work will begin again in April with an
eye to finishing by June 2008.
Many people have made contributions toward
landscaping the lot, and orders for commemorative
stones are still coming in.To contribute, call Catherine
Miller at 229-8668 or Rene Wood at 229-3534.
It's that time of year again — the outdoor
markets have closed and vendors will be
gathering inside Dewey Memorial Hall,
where friends will meet to do their shopping
and have a cup of coffee, tea or hot cocoa,
and eat a scrumptious lunch or a sweet.
The Saturday market will open on
Nov. 3, from 9:30am to 1pm, and contin-
ue on Nov. 10 and 17 and Dec. 1, 8 and
15. Many of your favorite vendors will
be there, selling bread and pizza, cakes,
sweets, spreads, cookies, soaps and other
handmade wares from the Berkshires
and far away places. Additional vendors
are welcome! If you wish to participate,
contact Priscilla Cote at 229-7907.
fc^ - J^K* ~4/»e.
1 Bed & Breakfast
999 Hewins Street
I Sheffield, MA 01 257
|f y J
Realtors & Developers
Mary Alice Welch
office 413-229-0330 fax 413-229-0399
P.O. Box 909, 81 Main Street, Sheffield, Massachusetts 01257
The 2008 Chevy Rust calendar
with 12 original paintings
by Andrea Scott
Itft i, 4»IK«k ».:•(! - <~r.
available at ...
Neighborgoods on the green in Sheffield
BERKSHIRE SCHOOL CELEBRATES FOUNDING
One hundred years .igo this hill, Seaver Buck rented the Glcnanna Farm on
Undermountain Rd. and opened a boys' school with seven students and four faculty
members. On Oct. 1 1, nearly 800 of the school's alumni, parents and friends across
America and in London raised a glass to Berkshire School and Mr. Buck in a series of
coast -to -coast toasts." In Sheffield, 250 people gathered in Benson Commons.
Other centennial events will include an environmental symposium in April; the
Spring 2008 Parents Weekend, featuring a speech by U.S. Ambassador to China
and Berkshire parent Clark Randt Jr.; and Alumni Weekend 2008 in May at
which the historian and Pulitzer Prize winner David McCuIlough will speak.
Scenes from the 1 00th anniversary party.
lop: Berkshire Head of School Michael J. Maher at right,
with his wife, Jean, and longtime teacher and coach Twiggs
Myers of Sheffield, who is today the school's archivist.
Middle row: Berkshire teacher and parent of alumni
Bill Gtdotta of Sheffield, with his wife, Debbie, right, and
Elyse Harney Morris '83 of Lakeville, CT Tim Brooks, a
1971 Berkshire graduate and today maintenance supervi-
sor at the school, with his
former French teacher, Mari-
Bottom row: Former
Berkshire faculty members
Ross Hawkins of Sheffield and
Al and Lin Bredenfoerder of
Ashley Falls. Sheffield native
Sarah Cushwa Divine '99 with
her husband, David, and
John Beebe 06 of Great
SOUTHERN BERKSHIRE REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT NEWS
Mielke receives award. Dinah Mielke, a
2007 graduate of Mt. Everett high school,
has been named AP Scholar by the Col-
lege Board in recognition of her excep-
tional achievement on the college-level
Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Mielke
is currently a freshman at Endicott Col-
lege in Beverly, MA, majoring in commu-
nications. She is the daughter of Rick and
Deborah Mielke of Monterey.
Students commended. Alexander
Crawford and Samantha Riiska were
named Commended Students in the 2008
National Merit Scholarship Program.
Students test water quality. Students
from the 8 rh grade got first-hand experi-
ence in testing water quality on Sept.
12 and 13. As part of the Housatonic
River Project curriculum, 86 students
spent two days studying the physical and
chemical aspects of water quality that
make it suitable for life in the Umpachene
and Konkapot Rivers, both tributaries
to the Housatonic River. The students
tested water samples for dissolved oxygen,
temperature and pH. This is the fourth
year that 8 th grade students have done
this as part of the eighth grade science
curriculum at Mt. Everett.
Students attend conference at U.N.
On Sept. 21, six Mt. Everett students
attended the International Day of Peace
at the United Nations in New York City.
Senior Samantha Riiska and juniors
Chelsea Foss, Mel Barth, Faren Worthing-
ton, Emily Reardon and Lindie Martin
attended the event with chaperones from
the Railroad Street Youth Project and
students from other area schools.
Pre-K accreditation. The Southern
Berkshire Regional School Districts
pre-kindergarten program was recently
honored by the National Association for
the Education of Young Children with a
five-year accreditation. This is the second
time the Southern Berkshire program
was so distinguished. Fewer than 100
programs in the U.S. have received the
accreditation, which assesses curriculum,
teaching, physical environment and man-
agement, among other qualities.
Southern Berkshire Regional School
District has a total of 30 children in
two pre-K programs operating out of
the Undermountain Elementary School
in Sheffield and the New Marlborough
Central School in Mill River.
SHAKESPEARE AT MT. EVERETT HIGH SCHOOL
"A Midsummer Nights
classic comedy, will
explode from the stage at
the Consolati Performing
Arts Center at Mt. Ever-
ett High School in early
November. Produced as
part of Shakespeare 8C
Company's Fall Festival of
Shakespeare, Mt. Everett
students in grades 7-12
will present the show on
Nov. 9 and 10 at 7pm.
The public is welcome,
with tickets available
TESTIMONIALS FOR THE FESTIVAL
At the festival, the "pit" in front of the stage will overflow with
teenagers ecstatic about Shakespeare. The enthusiasm is contagious.
Here is what some of the Mt. Everett participants have to say:
"The Fall Festival is the Olympics of all theater." (Jordon Lome)
"Nothing has made me feel happier than Fall Festival." (Emily Crawford)
"The most amazing experience of my life. I wait all year for it to
come." (Mel Barth)
"In Festival I found my voice and learned about the person I want to
be." (Samantha Riiska)
"The^ fall festival allowed me the chance to interact with people I
would never have had the chance to see." (David Turnbough)
"Nothing has added as much to my children's growth in self-con-
fidence and ability to communicate with others than this marvelous
program." (Neal Chamberlain)
through the school.
Once again, students will astound the audience with their
command of 17 th -century English language and the ageless
themes of the human condition. In addition, the performance
benefits from Shakespeare 8C Company's expertise in lighting,
costuming, set design, music and directing. This year direc-
tor Michael Toomey returns, assisted by Kaitlin Henderson.
"Working with the students I learn more about my own craft,"
This is Shakespeare and Company's 19 th year produc-
ing the Fall Festival, in which 10 schools participate. Kevin
director at Shakespeare
& Company, came
up with the festival
as a way to encour-
age schools to come
together in a non-
competitive way. The
program involves nearly
500 students from
high schools in west-
ern Massachusetts and
neighboring New York
State. Shakespeare 8c
lead students through a
of a Shakespeare play that leads to a full-scale production.
Students rehearse in common classes and come together in
At the end of the residency, students perform their play at
their schools, and then perform for one another and the public
in a four-day festival on Shakespeare 8C Company's Main stage
in Lenox. This year, the festival is Nov. 15 through 18 on the
mainstage at Founders' Theatre, where Shakespeare & Com-
pany is based. Mt. Everett's students will perform at 6:30pm on
Nov. 15. — Ethan and Neal Chamberlain
SANDRA PRESTON REAL ESTATE
Massachusetts, Connecticut & New York Properties
Representing Buyers and Sellers in the Tri-
State area for over 30 years. If you are plan-
ning to buy or sell, please contact us. Our
office is open 7 days a week. We are members
of the Berkshire Board of Realtors and their
Multiple Listing Service as well as the Litch-
field County Board and their MLS. Visit our
website at www.sandraprestonrealestate.com,
e-mail: email@example.com, or just call us at
575 Sheffield Plain, (Route 7)
Sheffield, MA 01257
Sandra Preston, Broker, GRI, CRS
T^ast chickens $5S)5 lb every Friday at 12. vu>o\*. ~
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* <^azpacho the real Spanish recipe ^SXZox. or -$10 <^t.
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At the m.arteet we also sell local cheese — l^vcludlkvg "kknik./' a
creamy bloody rli^d cow/goat's v^iVr. $J .35 J-o?l. 4*9 JJ5" l-foz.
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Holiday bake sale. Christ Church
Episcopal cv Trinity Lutheran Church
will hold irs 6 th Annual Holiday Bake
Sale ar the church on Route 7 in Sheffield
on Sat., Dec. S. The sale will run from
10am to 2pm and will feature delectable
goodies to deck your holiday table or give
to friends. Proceeds from the event are
used to sponsor outreach programs. For
more information, call Catherine Miller
Old Parish Church
Phone number omitted. Verizon's latest
telephone directory inadvertently left
out all listings for Old Parish Church.
Please note that the church is more alive
and well than ever and can be reached at
229-8173. Add this number to the Yel-
low Pages listing of churches for future
Dinner and a movie. Come join us on
Sat., Nov. 10 at 6pm for dinner and a mov-
ie. All ages are invited. There is no charge.
For more information, call 528-2911.
Christmas Eve service. Come cel-
ebrate the birth of Christ! A service of
carols and candles will be held Mon., Dec.
24 at 7pm. All ages are invited. For more
information call 528-2911.
"Money Does Grow on Trees"
Are rising real estate taxes getting harder to
pay? If you own wooded property, the answer
may be as close as your trees.
R.J. Beham Forest Products specializes in
harvesting trees in an environmentally sen-
sitive manner. Out experienced crews are li-
censed and insured, and our diverse log mar-
kets allow us to offer you the hightest prices
for your standing timber.
If you are interested in a no-cost, no-obli-
gation evaluation of your forest, give our li-
censed forester a call at (413) 229-2182, or
stop by our log yard at 53 Clayton Road,
Ashley Falls, MA and we will be happy to ar-
range a site visit.
Greenwoods Community Church (non-denominational)
355 Clayton Rd. 229-8560; parsonage (860) 824-7442.
Sunday: 9:30am Sunday School (ages 3-adult); 10:30am Worship Service, nursery care
provided. Rev. Edward M. Eastman Jr., Pastor
Trinity Methodist (United Methodist)
11 56 Ashley Falls Rd. 229-2712.
Sunday: 9am Service. Betty LeGeyt, Pastor
Congregation Ahavath Shalom (reconstructionist)
North St. 528-4197
Friday, 8pm & Saturday, 10am. Services are not held every week. Schedules are updated
weekly on the answering machine, including special services
Hevreh of Southern Berkshire
270 State Rd. 528-6378
Friday: 7:30pm Shabbat Service. Saturday: 10am Shabbat service & Torah study.
Rabbi Deborah Zecher, Assistant Rabbi Andrew Klein
198 Main St. 528-1330
Sunday: 9am Sunday Worship. Rev. Steve Edmiston
Unitarian Universalist Meeting of South Berkshire
Meet at the United Methodist Church, 198 Main St. 528-4850; home (413) 528-3106.
Sunday: 5pm Service. Rev. Kathy Duhon
Christ Church Episcopal & Trinity Lutheran
180 Main St. 229-8811
Sunday: 8am & 10am Holy Eucharist; 10am Sunday School & child care; Thursday: 10am Holy
Eucharist & Healing. Rev. Anne Ryder
Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses
Route 7 & Kellogg Rd. 229-8649. The public is welcome.
640 North Main St. 229-0400
Sunday: 9:45am Sunday School; 10:45am Worship Service; 6pm Evening Service; Wednesday:
7pm Bible Study. Barton Keller, Pastor
Old Parish (Congregational)
125 Main St. 229-8173
Sunday: 10am Worship, Sunday School, 10am.
Diane Graham, Pastor
Our Lady of the Valley (Catholic)
Maple Ave. 229-3028
Saturday: 4:00pm Mass; Sunday: Sheffield 7:30am, 9am Masses;
Rev. John S. Lis
River 10:30 Mass.
Sheffield Chapel (non-denominational)
1970 N. Main St. 528-2911, www.sheffieldchapel.org.
Sunday: 10:45am Morning Worship, 9:30am Sunday School for all ages. Wednesdays: Group
Prayer Time 7pm. Pastor: In Transition
GRAHAM CALLED TO BE PASTOR AT OLD PARISH CHURCH
The Rev. Jill Diane Graham will be installed
as the pastor of The First Congregational
Church on Sun., Dec. 2, at 3pm. The Rev. Dr.
Jim Antal, Minister and President of the Mas-
sachusetts Conference of the United Church
of Christ will preach and UCC clergy from
throughout Berkshire County will participate.
She is the 27 th minister and first woman called
to serve as pastor of Old Parish in its 272 years
Rev. Graham grew up in South County
and has family living in Sheffield and
Great Barrington. She graduated from
Berkshire Christian College in 1980 and Gordon-Conwell Theo-
logical Seminary in 1984. Before coming to Sheffield Sept. 1, she
served the Housatonic Congregational Church for seven years
and the First Congregational Church of North Adams for almost
15. She lives in Monterey with her son, Graham-Michael Frank.
Jill has a ready smile and an infectious sense of humor.
When asked what attracted her to Sheffield, she talked first
about the presence of family and friends. "It was almost like a
home-coming," she said. Living in North Adams she missed
seeing turkey and deer. "I love the smell of cow manure," she
The Rev. Jill Graham
confesses, and recalls how she used to
play in a cow barn in Great Barrington.
She wants it publicly known she is "an
ardent fan" of the Boston Red Sox. Pic-
tures of Fenway Park and Red Sox tissues
adorn her office.
But she is also very serious about her
calling. She was attracted to Old Parish
because she found it welcoming. When
asked about her focus for her future and
the future of her new parish, it is clear
she hopes that a welcoming spirit will
infuse everything Old Parish is about.
As a matter of fact, she uses the words "extravagant welcome"
to describe her vision for the church. She believes in lively
worship in which children are an integral part. She wants
church to "be fun."
Jill will be working part time at Old Parish. She has also
been called part time as acting associate conference minister of
the Massachusetts Conference, working with churches and pas-
tors in the four western counties of the state.
If you would like to speak with Jill, call the Church office at
229-8173. —John G. Wightman
SHEFFIELD DOC BEST OF BREED
On Oct 6, Caleb, registered as'Ch. Stormridge He's All That
CD," won Best of Breed at the Australian Shepherd Club of
America National Specialty Show at the Suffolk County Fair-
grounds in Augusta, NJ. Caleb is co-owned by Honor Blume of
Sheffield and Heather Braddock, a breeder from Harwinton, CT.
Nearly nine years of age, Caleb competed against 57
male and 35 female Australian shepherds, and the award has
changed his national rank substantially. He previously won Best
of Breed at smaller shows and is listed in the dog club's Hall of
Fame as a sire because of the number of his offspring who are
champions or have other titles.
Bred by Kelly Dalke of Stormridge Aussies in Goshen, CT,
Caleb became a champion show dog before he was three. "CD"
is part of his official name because he is a companion dog, the
first level of obedience.
Caleb lives with Honor and her husband, Douglas Blume,
their three children, Meghan, Taryn and Colin, two other Aus-
tralian shepherds, one Dalmatian and a Boston terrier. Honor
owns and operates Bow Meow Regency, a grooming and board-
ing facility for dogs and cats, located on Cook Rd. She says of
her champion,"! am very proud of him!" — Ellen Rowntree
and his co-owner,
Wild turkey populations are on the rise and they have
reached near-record levels in 2007, according to New
England Game and Fish Magazine. For years it was dif-
ficult to find wild turkeys, whose preferred habitat is
hardwood forests, in New England. As the forests were
cleared for farmland, turkeys all but vanished, like the
Native Americans who used to hunt them.
In the 1970s, many New England states, including
Massachusetts, brought in wild birds trapped in nearby
states. The turkeys obviously liked our regenerated
southern Berkshire woods because their population
Many of us have heard and then seen these fine fowl
strut out of the wood line and into our yards, often in
flocks of 15 or more, with the now-grown chicks follow-
ing their mothers
and the males
flying into the
trees and acting
balls might grace
table, but these
wild turkeys are
a delight to be-
hold all year here
STONEWORK: JIM BOLTROM'S NEWEST PASSION
According to Robert ITiorson, aurhorof
Srone By Stone: the Magnificent History
in New England's Stone Walls, the stone
walls of this region at one time could have
encircled the globe 10 times. Sheffield's
Jim Boltrom hasn't laid quite that much
stone, but it appears he's working on it.
"You have to know when to stop,
though," says the genial auto restorer
with a twinkle.'Tve used probably 15 to
18 tons of rock so far, and I'll use more
before I'm through, but I don't want to
spoil the effect with too much."
He surveys the stone walls that line
his driveway and enclose a garden patch
in front of his log cabin off Hewins St.
There are five separate walls altogether,
interrupted by a path and a couple of
trees. "Stone walls in Colonial times were
built to keep animals in or out, but mine
are mostly decorative."
Using dry wall (mortar-less) construc-
tion, each meandering section is composed
of rocks of various sizes fit together like
pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The interlock-
ing pieces keep the wall standing and
are capped with irregular, smaller stones
rather than the large capstones found on
some New England stacked fences.
Stone walls are mute historians in
New England's landscape. Originally
they were simply long lines of piled
fieldstones dumped or thrown along
property lines as the fields were cleared.
In the 1700s, carefully stacked rocks
replaced these rudimentary walls. Farm-
ing had become a thriving enterprise by
then. As most of the trees cleared from
fields were used in building, and be-
cause rocks were so plentiful, it seemed
expedient to resort to making stouter
stone walls. A trade grew up around the
art and for a time, "wallers" were in great
Jim's first attempt was a rough bit of
wall out near his auto restoration shop.
"I liked the work. It was a way to rest
from my regular job," he says, only half
joking. With the completion of his ini-
tial try, he began to look at his property
in a different way. "Here we were, living
in a log cabin. A picket fence just didn't
fit. Besides, I was always repairing or re-
placing parts. I grew up in New Milford,
CT, and remembered the stone walls
that were everywhere. So I did some
research and decided to make a wall the
way they did back in Colonial times.
And," he adds, grinning widely, "I figured
rock would last a long time."
Jim knew a fellow at J.R. Contract-
ing who could get some fieldstone ("real
fieldstone," he stressed, "not building lot
stone") from a retired farm in Canaan.
When the rock was delivered, Jim stood
in the middle of all those stones and
just stared at them. He explains, "You
have to become in tune with the rock.
I would look at a stone and see in my
Festival of Trees
The Stone Store,
Sheffield Town Green
November & December
Saturday & Sunday 10-2
Miniature Trees, Wreaths
Raffles & Tag Sale
New Holiday Gifts in Stone Store
* * Special hours on
Black Friday from 11-5* *
PASTEL - WATERCOLOR-
Lois Van Cleef
Casa Mia Studio
Ashley Falls, Massachusetts
mind how it had to be placed.
It was as though I was preas-
sembling the wall in my mind.
Then I just started to build."
With just his eye as a guide
("I didn't use any tools such
as a transit or a level"), Jim
laid the foundation stones and
stacked his wall thigh high.
"I'd set myself a goal — I'd get
to that tree or that corner — and
then I'd stop. Back in the day,
there'd be an incentive, maybe
a jug of hootch, waiting at the
stopping point, but I just went
back to work at my real job when
I got tired of lifting stone."
On and off for the past two years,
Jim has added more walls to his flat,
tree-lined lot. "One things leads to
another," he says. "You have to have sym-
metry. Once this wall was built," he indi-
cates a section with a wave of his hand,
"this spot looked perfect for a picnic table.
Then over here became the best spot for a
flower garden and maybe some herbs."
He points out a rock-framed, old-
fashioned hand pump, a refurbished
hitching post he found at the town
Jim Boltrom (above)
and the stone wall he
built in front of his
' -v „ <i
dump ("in case a horse shows up"), and
an old horse-drawn dirt scoop that
sits beyond the herb garden. "I like the
look of old, and once you get started
you realize that in order to balance ev-
erything you have to keep going. I have
plans to maybe put a tool shed built to
look like an outhouse in the back, and
a hand-hewn locust rail fence along the
far side of the drive."
He's been asked if he would build
walls for customers. "Building stone
walls is not my real work. My real job,"
and here he nods at the restoration shop
visible through a line of trees, "now that's
another story. Building stone walls is my
hobby. It's something I do for fun, not for
In his book, Thorson calls New Eng-
land's stone walls "the signatures of rural
New England." Jim Boltrom would agree.
"Every wall back then took on a certain
character, and it got so you could look at
a wall and tell who built it," he says.
Jim's got his name written all over his
property. — Pauline Clarke
and much more!!
107 J\dain Street
Fine Victuals - Ardent Spirits
"What comfort food
should be." ZAGAT
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854 & 864 S. Undermountain Rd. / Rt 41, Sheffield, MY
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potter, artist, musician, author, knitter, jeweler,
Winter Hours: Wed, Thurs 9-5, Fri 12-5:30, Sat 10-4
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and Litchfield Counties
SHEFFIELD IN CELEBRATION: SHEFFIELD FAIR
The Sheffield Fair on Sept. 8 had something/or everyone. Top, left to right: Fairgoers admire Jim Law's tables and fine furniture. Folk
band Yankee Notions, sponsored by the Sheffield Cultural Council, plays. People take seats on Old Parish steps to listen. Bottom, left to
right, hi the "Kids' Tent," a volunteer clown makes balloon animals. The Corn Crib sold local apples in the food court - right through the
rain. Town officials enjoy the fair and answer questions from residents: Joe Kellogg, Town Administrator and selectmen Dave Macy,Jim
Collingwood and Julie Hannum talk with afairgoer.
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO
HELPED MAKE SHEFFIELD IN CELEBRATION POSSIBLE!
Corporate Sponsors Sheffield Pottery & Salisbury Bank and Trust Co.
and all the organizations, underwriters, partners and volunteers including the following:
Ashley Falls Village Improvement
Berkshire Products, Inc.
Carlson's Heating & Air Conditioning
Christ Church Episcopal and Trinity
Campo de' Fiori
Dick Coon Construction
DeVries Building Supply
Farmers' Market of Sheffield
Glory Be Clown Troupe
Evelyn Hatfield & Hatfield Antiques
Lane Construction, Corp.
Susan LeGeyt and the LeGeyt Family
Jim Lovejoy Cabinetmaker
Old Parish Church
OleTJ's Antique Barn
Painted Porch Antiques
Sandra Preston Real Estate
Race Mountain Tree Services
Ray's Auto Parts, LLC
Joe Seward and Sons Electrician
Ann & Bob Shanks
Sheffield Board of Selectmen
Sheffield Boy Scouts
Sheffield Council on Aging
Sheffield Cultural Council
Sheffield Fire Dept.
Sheffield Historical Society
Sheffield Land Trust
Sheffield Police Dept.
Sheffield Tree Project
Sheffield Volunteer Hose Company #1
Stage Coach Tavern
Bobby Sweet & Friends
Thomas & Kathleen Tetro
Lois Van Cleef
Wheeler & Taylor, Inc.
Joe Wilkinson and Sons Excavating
Jim, June, Kristin, and Seamus Wolfe
... and everyone who attended before,
during and after the rain!
ASHLEY FALLS LABOR DAY POTLUCK
KIWANIS STEAK ROAST
People line up outside the fire house to get into the steak roast,
above. Serving up the meal inside, below.
Peter Cherneff and Hank
and Diane Vollmer at the
Labor Day potluck on the
Ashley Falls green, above.
Richard Cherneff selling
souvenir t-shirts to Kathie
Ness and John James,
right. The party and shirt
sales benefited the Ashley
Falls Village Improvement
orvipfus in person
gou.t/7 Sheffield MA
Open 7 days
tiles are still
can find them at
on the green in
I be /iin i>/ Em e rso n by Ralph Waldo Em-
erson and Lao Tse and edited by Richard
Grossman (2007, Modern Library).
"The wisdom of the Tao Te Ching as
found in the words of Ralph Waldo Em-
erson." sums up the book jacket. Gross-
man, a Salisbury, CT psychotherapist
and educator, has juxtaposed on facing
pages the translated text of Lao Tse's 81
aphoristic chapters, the Tao, with salient
BOOK CLUB FORMING
Want to join a Bushnell-Sage Library
book club? Contact Lee at 229-6066.
LIBRARY WINS AWARD
In August, Central /Western Massa-
chusetts Resource Sharing awarded a
"Golden Bundle Award" to Bushnell-
Sage Library staff for preparing
materials in a way that saves time in
sorting library materials for drivers in
the delivery and collection service.The
award recognizes how Library staff
pitches in whenever they find a need!
excerpts from Emerson's essays, addresses
and journal entries. Separated by some
2500 years, each philosopher coped with
trying times, Lao Tse in the era of the
Warring States, Emerson forging his
newfound faith in the anxious decades
before our Civil War. Confronted by the
inchoate social order of feuding king-
doms, shaken to the core by the unyield-
ing strictures of orthodox Unitarianism,
Lao Tse and Emerson each contrives an
alternative theology of intuitive harmony
with nature, deep soul reconnoiter, and
practice of timeless virtue.
Lao Tse engendered schools of
devotees and interpreters. Emerson was a
widely traveled New England guru who
drew hundreds of seekers in pilgrimage
to Concord. His notable acolytes include
Henry David Thoreau, the conscientious
avatar of mind in nature, and John Muir,
spiritual patriarch of the American west.
Today Emerson is perhaps less recog-
nized for his advocacy of man becoming
God. Instead, his theories of self-reliance
became the gristmill for later American
expressions of free-will individualism.
But scholarly reassessment of Emer-
son has quickened in recent years, with
expanded publication of his voluminous
writings. How fortunate that Grossman,
also author of A Year with Emerson, is
well steeped in both traditions.
In bringing Emerson forward lit by
the spotlight of Tao, Richard Gross-
man reveals an unexpected conjunction
of two great minds. Along the way, the
reader gains insight into the laws of
compensation (opposites), the mysteries
of the inner life, and the task of achieving
perfection. Those inclined to judge cur-
rent political leaders will find trenchant
views on governance. There is even some
humor: 'A wise man stays at home."
Man, so goes the argument, is a creature
of moral sentiment and ideal possibility with
scant need for commandment, reward or con-
demnation. Only the perfection of conscious-
ness is required for admission to the realm of
higher spirit. The pathway welcomes all who
THE BUSHNELL-SAGE LIBRARY
(Just off Route 7 in Sheffield) 4 1 3-229-7004
Tuesday-Thursday 1 0-5
Friday 1 0-8
set asides their fears. In its first chapter the Tao
propounds," Where the Mystery is the deep-
est is the gate of all that is subde and wonder-
ful." Emerson asserts in his 1838 lecture at
Harvard Divinity School/If man is at heart
just, then in so far he is God."
Grossman has rendered us a signal
service, delivering text that is illuminat-
ing, readable, and provocative. The Tao
of Emerson is intended for browsing and
comparisons. Chapters are short and
balanced, with adequate blank pages for
the reader's mind or pencil to engage the
dialogue. The book is hand-friendly at
7 x /2 by 6 inches.
Richard Grossman will be one of the
visiting authors at Authors' Day at the
Bushnell-Sage Library on Nov. 3.
— Frederic Gordon
Twice a week at the Bushnell-Sage Library,
there's storytime. For children in grades K
to 4, it's Wednesdays at 3pm. For pre-
schoolers, it's Thursdays at 10:30am.
On some Saturdays before Christmas,
a "Craft Club" for children in grades 1 to
3 is hosted by Janet and Pearl Elsbach
from 2-4pm. On Nov. 17, the project will
be garlands and on Dec. 15 vases/pencil
holders. Call 229-7004 to register. There's
a suggested $5 donation to cover the cost
Library programs for school half days
are being planned. Call the Library or
watch local media for further details.
20 Stockbridge Rd.
Great Barrington, MA 01230
Office (41 3) 528-3440
Fax (41 3) 528-1 588
Cell (413) 854-1041
E-mail: leah. hebertrealty@yahoo. com
www. HebertRealty. com
Local Authors Day. The fifth annual celebration of regional
authors will be on Sat., Nov. 3, from 1 0am to 1 2:30pm.
Come meet and greet Jim Bouton, Sheryl Lechner, Frank
Lowenstein.Todd and Tracy Mack, Seymour Robins, Jon Swan,
Simon Winchester and many others.
Book talk. Author Ruth Bass discusses her young-adult
novel, Sarah's Daughter, which recounts the story of Rose, a
child thrust into the demanding adult life of a 19 th century
New England homestead. Presented in collaboration with the
Sheffield Historical Society. Nov. 10 at 2pm.
UPDATE ON NEW SENIOR CENTER
Transfer Station Hours
Tuesdays & Fridays: I pm-4pm
At the Town Meeting in May, Sheffield
citizens voted not to approve a new senior
center project without first exploring the
possibility of paying for it at least in part
through grants. The Board of Selectmen
appointed a new Senior Center Building
Committee in August (see the meeting
notes on page 18) and charged them with
refining the original building design and
finding state or federal grants.
The new committee, chaired by Janet
Stanton, has been meeting regularly since
then. The Committee has come up with a
design that addresses many of the concerns
expressed over the past several months while
not substantially changing the original. A
public information session was held on
Oct. 24 to hear comments from the general
public and interested parties. At the meeting,
a brief presentation was made, followed
by comments and suggestions from the 20
people in the audience.
A determination will be made as to
whether additional design changes are
needed to meet any further concerns
raised at the meeting. If the changes are
may be scheduled.
Once the changes
are finalized, the
architect will be
authorized to pro-
ceed with preparing
ments that will
provide the town
with a more ac-
curate cost estimate
and be ready to go
out to bid once we hear the results of our
The Town has been working with
Berkshire Housing Development Corpo-
ration of Pittsfield to seek funding from
TOWN PHONE NUMBERS
the Massachusetts" Community Develop-
ment Block Grant program. It is expected
that guidelines for the program will be
issued shortly, and
applications will likely
be due in February. To
make Sheffield's grant
application as com-
petitive as possible, the
town needs to be will-
ing to put up matching
the Board of Selectmen
expects to call a special
Town Meeting in De-
cember or early January
to seek approval of us-
ing some of Sheffield's
reserve fund for that purpose.
A final decision on the grant ap-
plication is expected by spring or early
— Joseph Kellogg, Town Administrator
Holiday Bake Sale
Sat. Dec. 10th: 10AM -2PM
Fabulous delectables for your
holiday table or gift giving.
Cookies, cakes, jams, jellies,
candies, fruitcakes, breads,
nuts & more holiday treats.
Not to be missed!
Christ Episcopal & Trinity Lutheran
RT 7 & Maple Ave., Sheffield
On the lookout for litter.
Students at Berkshire School have "adopted" a two-
mile stretch of Undermountain Road, and also patrol
the western end of Berkshire School Road. They're
happy to help keep their adopted hometown clean —
and to support its newspaper, the Sheffield Times.
CELEBRATING A CENTURY
FROM THE BOARD OF SELECTMEN'S MINUTES
Board of Selectmen's meetings can
be seen on CTSB Cable Channel 16.
Check schedule for times.
Not all meetings are televised.
8/6 — The Board of Selectman and the
Kiwanis Club visited the intersection
of Route 7 and Berkshire School Rd. to
discuss the condition of the island at the
intersection. The vegetation is overgrown
and needs attention, and the Kiwanis
has proposed to clean it up. A landscape
designer will be consulted and plans pre-
sented to the Selectmen before any work
In the regular meeting, Chairman
Julie Hannum announced that discus-
sion of the appointment policy would
be put off until a full board was present
(Selectman Jim Collingwood was absent).
[T\k policy was approved at the Aug. 20
Chairman Hannum noted that ap-
plications have been received from the
following applicants for the School Com-
mittee: Alice M. Naylor, Scott Sanes and
Dek Tillett. The Selectmen anticipate
making the appointment at their next
meeting on Aug. 20. [They did.]
Interim Town Administrator Joseph
Kellogg announced that the state Dept.
of Environmental Protection has begun
a Mass Recycles campaign to increase
the awareness for paper recycling and
has asked towns to adopt a resolution in
support of the campaign. A resolution
Administrator Kellogg stated that
DEP requires an annual inspection for
solid waste transfer stations. Eric Weiss
performed the inspection for Sheffield
last year and the Board approved his
providing the inspection again this year
The Board appointed Ryan C. Kresiak
and Jacob Gonska Reserve Police Officers
and Peter Saunders the regional Veteran's
Agent. It appointed several people to the
Council on Aging: Joan Brooks, Carol
Sica and Dawn Massini for three-year
terms and Richard Magenis for a two-
Janet Stanton was appointed as chair
of the Senior Center Building Commit-
tee. The following were appointed as
members of the committee: David Smith,
Sr., Bruce Philbrick, John Arthur Miller,
Bill Browne, Carl Schumann, Rene
Wood, Grace Campbell, Peter Traub,
Paul O'Brien and James McGarry. This
committee will be given a charge from the
Board for the implementation phase of
the Senior Center project. Administrator
Kellogg will attend the meetings.
Administrator Kellogg stated that he
met with Tony Gulotta regarding small
business owners' financial ability to pro-
vide health insurance for their employees
given the rising costs. The office of state
Representative Smitty Pignatelli will
set up a meeting with a group of small
business owners to discuss the issue and
Find out more about your town!
Visit the Town of Sheffield's web site
to provide information on the Health In-
surance Partnership, which allows small
businesses to join together to obtain bet-
ter insurance rates.
Kathy Orlando from the Sheffield
Land Trust provided an update on the res-
toration project on Salisbury Rd. behind
the Our Lady of the Valley Cemetery.
Discussion ensued on the Town Hall
parking area. The cost of the paving
is more than anticipated. The binder
course will be completed this fall and the
top and the curbing will be completed
An advertisement for a Town Admin-
istrator prepared by MMA Consulting
Group, will be placed in the Beacon and
on the Town web site.
8/20 — A draft appointments policy
has been posted on the Town web site.
Vito Valentini voiced his concerns
with the policy regarding qualifications
conflicts and how many committees one
person may serve on. Discussion ensued
regarding applicants being required to live
in Sheffield. Dennis Sears voiced con-
cern about applicants being year-round
residents, so they may attend all meet-
ings. Selectman David Macy moved to
adopt the appointments policy, seconded
by Selectman Collingwood. The motion
The board appointed Dek Tillett to
the School Committee, for a term that
will expire in June 2008.
Naming rights for the Town Hall
Parking Lot were discussed. The con-
sensus of the Board is to not allow one
family's name be attached to the lot. It is
a community-funded project and many
have donated and volunteered their time.
Chairman Hannum read the charge
for the Senior Center Building Commit-
tee drafted by Administrator Kellogg.
It was agreed to change "utilize to the
maximum extent possible the American
Legion Hall" to "recognize the important
interaction that should be maintained
between the Council on Aging and
American Legion." The first meeting of
the Senior Center Building Committee
will be Aug 22.
Mass Highway is working on the final
submission for the village green project,
which is set to go out to bid in Septem-
ber. The project cost has increased since
it was first approved, and the Town must
commit to provide any funding over
the allocation from Mass Highway. The
Town will provide funding for "non-par-
ticipating items" in the Village Green
Selectman Collingwood thanked the
Highway Department for the clean up
from the recent storm.
Anne Dunn has expressed interest
in serving on the Cultural Council. The
Board will announce the names of all
applicants for the vacant positions and
appointments will be made on Sept. 17.
9/4 — The Town will sponsor the
MMA 6th Grade Essay Contest that
will be held again this year. The remain-
ing towns in the school district will be
contacted to let them know that Sheffield
will be participating in the essay contest.
Construct Inc. will host a walk to
prevent homelessness on Oct. 14. The
walk will begin in Great Barrington and
proceed through Sheffield.
The Metropolitan Planning Organi-
zation deals with transportation projects
within the county. Chairman Hannum
will represent Sheffield at a caucus in
Great Barrington on Oct. 4.
The road resurfacing bid was awarded
to Delsignore Paving, who came in with a
low bid of $62.72 per ton, including park-
ing lot. Other bids were LB Corp., $63.16
per ton, Lane Construction, $76 per ton
for roads and $110 per ton for parking lot.
The board discussed Pike Rd., which is
not a town or county road so Chapter 90
funds cannot be used for repairs.
The state Ethics Commission sent
the Town an email regarding hosting a
workshop for boards and committees.
Administrator Kellogg will set up an
ethics workshop and invite surrounding
towns to participate.
The U.S. Census Bureau will send an
address list for the 2010 census to the
Town for review and make changes. Ad-
ministrator Kellogg attended a workshop
last week regarding the program and will
be the local liaison, with Felecie Joyce and
Chief McGarry authorized as reviewers.
Tammy Blackwell requested a trash-fee
abatement of $83 because she takes her
trash to a dumpster on Hewins St. Jean
Francois and Helen Bizalion requested it
because they take their trash to their busi-
ness in Great Barrington. Both abatements
were approved pending proof of hauler
from each disposal location.
The board approved an application
from Verizon for a utility pole installation
on Covered Bridge Lane. It granted per-
mission to Anthony and Patricia Borelli
and Todd Clay to hunt at the town park,
town forest, library and any other permis-
sible town property. The permission was
for bow hunting only at the town park
and library and for shotgun, black powder
and bow hunting at the town forest.
A press release with a list of vacant
positions on Boards and Committees will
be issued this week and will be available
at the municipal table at Sheffield in
Administrator Kellogg and Highway
Superintendent Ronnie Bassett went to
the State Police Academy to look at curb-
ing. The Town purchased surplus granite
curbing for the Town Hall Parking Lot,
and the Highway Dept. will be picking it
up this week.
Changes will be made to the Town
web site within the next couple of weeks
to make it more user- friendly.
9/13 — The board discussed trash
fee abatements for homeowners who
transport their trash to another location
or have a vacant house. Administra-
tor Kellogg suggested charging the full
amount for vacant houses and to allow
a homeowner to prove the residence
has been vacant for three or six months,
at which time a partial reimbursement
would be issued. A working meeting will
be scheduled within the next couple of
weeks to review abatement requests.
Trash disposal fees for 615 Main St.
were discussed. The building houses three
units but has been charged for two in the
past. The Town's trash regulations will be
reviewed before a final decision is made.
Fire Chief Rick Boardman has re-
quested fire lane signs for the road from
the fire house to the village green. The
Board of Selectmen will send a letter to
businesses, with copies to Chief McGar-
ry, asking that the road remain open at all
times. Signs will also be posted.
A five-member search committee was
established to review applications for the
Town Administrator position, made up
of the three selectmen, Assistant Town
Administrator Rhonda LaBombard and
one member of the Finance Committee.
Chairman Hannum will contact David
Steindler, the Finance Committee chair-
man, to discuss who will serve.
Two paintings painted by the late
Beverly Schwartzman were donated to
the town by her husband and will be
displayed in the upstairs hallway outside
the meeting room.
9/17 — Chairman Hannum gave an
update on the Housing Committee and
provided copies of their recommenda-
tions for discussion at the next meeting.
The Town is in the process of forming
a Broadband Access Committee [see story
on page 20.]
A list of vacancies has been posted on
the Town website and published in the
Berkshire Eagle. Applicants to date are:
Paul O'Brien for the Broadband Access
Committee; David Reed, Anne Dunn
and Trudy Weaver Miller for the Cultural
Council; Vito Valentini for the Parks and
Recreation Committee. Appointments
will be made on Oct. 15.
Vito Valentini inquired about the loca-
tion of a casino in western Massachusetts.
Administrator Kellogg stated the pro-
posed location for the casino is in Palmer,
which is Exit 8 off the Mass Turnpike.
FROM THE TOWN CLERK'S OFFICE
Dog licenses. Licenses are renewable
annually in the spring. If your dog is six
months of age or older, or you live in Shef-
field at least 30 days of the year, licensing is
required. After May 1, a delinquent fee of
$25 per dog will be imposed in addition to
the license fee. (This does not apply to new
licenses). If your dog is spayed or neutered,
the fee is $4. If your dog is intact, the fee
is $10. All applications require proof of
rabies vaccination. You can obtain a license
in person or by mail. Come to Town Hall
or send a self-addressed, stamped enve-
lope, with a check payable to the Town of
Sheffield, to Town Clerk, PO Box 175,
Sheffield, MA 01257.
Voter registration. Town Hall is
open every weekday for voter registra-
tion. If you are not registered or if you are
uncertain of your voting status, please call
or stop by for assistance.
Hunting & fishing licenses. Licenses
make great holiday gifts. The Town
Clerk still has 2007 licenses and stamps
available. According to the state Division
of Fisheries and Wildlife, 2008 licenses
should be available sometime around
Thanksgiving. If you plan to purchase a
license on behalf of someone other than
yourself, it would be helpful to have their
prior license or a duplicate when you
come in. Call the Town Clerk's office at
229-8752 for more information.
Shotgun season for deer is Nov. 26
to Dec. 8 this year.Archery season
precedes that, Oct. 1 5 to Nov. 24,
and muzzleloader season follows,
Dec. 1 to Dec. 3 1 . Seasons for other
animals can be found at www.mass.
hunting_home or in the 2007 Mass
Wildlife Abstracts, available at the
Town Clerk's office. Sheffield is
located in Hunting Zone 3.
There is no hunting on Sunday.
Hunting hours are generally from
one-half hour before sunrise to
one-half hour after sunset. Hunting
is not permitted within 500 feet of
any dwelling or building except as
authorized by the owner or occupant,
nor within 1 50 feet of any state or
PLANNING BOARD NEWS
During irs two moorings in September
and its tirsr mooring in October, che Plan-
ning Board was extremely busy with the
special permit applications reported on in
rhe last issue.
Hearings and permits. After hear-
ings .u\d deliberations, the board ap-
proved the application of David and
Barbara West to create a building lot
from property on Silver St. under the al-
ternative lot dimensions provisions of the
zoning by-laws. The board also approved
the special permit application of Bores-
tone LLC/Four Corners LLC, a company
that uses computer-controlled machines
to craft non-metal parts for furniture and
other objects. The company requested a
two-year extension of the special permit
granted in August 2005 for light manu-
facturing and machining of wood, plastic
and metal products at lot 4 in the Shef-
field Business Park. (For that application,
a second hearing was required as the
board learned while writing up its deci-
sion that the original hearing notice had
not been properly posted at Town Hall.)
The board denied the special permit
application of Gregory Small and Claire
Anacreon to create a building lot for
property in Sheffield and New Marlbor-
ough, with access off Alum Hill Rd. in
New Marlborough, under the by-laws'
alternative lot dimensions provision.
After extensive deliberations and pains-
taking review of evidence presented by
the applicants and their representatives,
the board determined that the lot in
question had been created in March 1994
and therefore failed to meet the by-laws'
requirement of being in existence on Jan.
All of the board special permit deci-
sions were by a unanimous 5-0 vote.
In September the board held two
special permit hearings on the application
of Berkshire Fence Accessories of 560
South Main St., which applied for three
uses: major commercial development,
accessory single-family dwelling unit
in a commercial district and kennel, as
well as for increased signage, both in size
and number of signs. Due to schedul-
ing issues, the hearing was scheduled for
continuation on Nov. 11 at 8pm.
The board endorsed a Form A (Ap-
proval Not Required for development)
application for Joseph and Maureen
Seward to divide properties that are part
of the estate of James Small on Salisbury
Rd. Under this Form A, two lots and four
parcels were created. (A lot can be built
upon, a parcel cannot.)
The board signed off on the Salisbury
Road LLC's plan to move the common
driveway that will serve the three lots on
this Salisbury Rd./Barnum St. site. The
drive will be moved several feet to address
Conservation Commission concerns.
The board also signed the site plan
for Florence Liberman and Gail Ullman,
which was the final step of their special
permit process to establish a boarding
house, turning what is currently the
Sheffield Inn on Maple Ave. into a senior
Other business. Rene Wood, repre-
senting the Planning Board, Town Man-
ager Joe Kellogg and Joellyn Warren of
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission
met to develop recommendations for the
the grant Sheffield recently received from
the state to promote economic develop-
ment in Sheffield. The grant allows Shef-
field to hire BRPC to work on such proj-
ects for the town. These recommendations,
later endorsed by the Planning Board and
Board of Selectmen, are to develop a "How
to do Business in Sheffield" document
and evaluate the Sheffield Business Park
as a possible site to take advantage of the
recent Massachusetts "Chapter 43 D" law,
which provides for expedited permitting,
state assistance in marketing and other
economic tools. (Voters have to approve
43D sites, and the soonest this could be
brought to a town meeting would be some
time in 2008.)
The Planning Board will meet with
the Board of Selectmen in November
to review the recommendations of the
Master Plan's Implementation Advisory
Committee regarding housing issues, in-
cluding establishment of a town housing
The Zoning By-Law Review Com-
mittee's recommendations on potential
by-law warrant articles for presenta-
tion to voters at a possible special Town
Meeting were received and the board will
review these recommendations during
Work on updating the board's Rules
and Regulations and the forms used in
conducting board business will began
later this year. The board has received
positive feedback from its new Form A
(Approval Not Required) application
guidelines, which are available from the
Town Clerk or the town's web site. Ad-
ditionally, Rhonda LaBombard has been
assuming the chair's clerical duties.
If you've not had a chance to visit the
town's web site (www.sheffieldma.gov),
take a look. I believe you'll be pleased
to see how much information, including
Planning Board meeting notices, minutes,
forms, zoning by-laws, etc., is available
there. — Rene Wood, Chair
CARL VAN DEUSEN
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AUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTOR - SALES, SERVICE,
490 MAIN STREET
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BUS: (413) 528-2040
FAX: (413) 528-6516
RES: (413) 229-8829
ANN MORELLI SMITH
POLICE: SUMMER PROGRAM A SUCCESS
The Sheffield Police Dept. held its
annual Kops & Kids summer program
July 16 through July 20 at the Sheffield
Town Park. An all-time high of 62 chil-
The program, a week-long ropes
course, is facilitated by nine police offi-
cers, six from the Sheffield police depart-
ment. There are 13 rope elements, high
and low. A new element is already in the
works to go up next year.
The program aims to bridge the gap
between police officers and kids as well
as strengthen each child's self esteem and
ability to work as part of a team.
The week begins with games to let
everyone get to know each other. Four
groups are established, each with two po-
lice officers, three older students who act
as mentors and 13 or 14 campers. Shef-
field mentors returning this year included
Zack Battachi, Samantha Robarge, Lexi
Ovitt and Andrew Blume. They did a
great job and we hope to see them back
As the week wears on, kids start
working together and helping each other
out with encouragement and sugges-
Counselors and campers with the Berkshire County Special
Response Team vehicle.
tions — a wonderful thing
to see. This year's camp
included a demonstration
of a police K-9 unit from
the Connecticut State Po-
lice and a demonstration of
Berkshire County's Special
Response Team (known
as a SWAT team in other
This camp is run totally
on donations. We include
lunches each day, along with
snacks, drinks, T-shirts for the partici- P.J.'s Convenience, Silk's Variety — along
pants and of course, our barbecue gradua- with Manhattan Pizza and Guido's of
tion lunch and awards ceremony on the Great Barrington, the Old Mill of South
last day. Chief Jim McGarry and District Egremont and the Old North Egremont
Attorney David Capeless came to flip the Store. Jim Collingwood Trucking deliv-
burgers. Parents and friends also attended ered the dumpster for us, and Kwik Print
donated our award certificates
Thanks to Sandy and Rick Boardman,
who sent ice cream for dessert. Officers
from the Lee and Stockbridge police de-
partments were there to help. And thanks
to Chief McGarry, who finagled the work
schedule to allow Sheffield's officers to
spend the week at the park.
We're already working on next year's.
and watched a demonstration of the high
ropes elements. Some of the parents even
got a chance to try the "zip line," the high-
est and longest of the high elements.
Thanks to all our town residents who
donated during our annual fund raising.
We couldn't do this without you. Provid-
ing food and drink were several Shef-
field businesses — Limey's Restaurant,
NEW BROADBAND ACCESS
COMMITTEE BEING FORMED
At its Oct. 15 meeting, the Board of Selectmen appointed
Paul O'Brien, technology coordinator for the school dis-
trict, to the new Sheffield Broadband Access Committee.
He joins ex-officio members Julie Hannum, from the Board
of Selectmen, and Joe Kellogg, Town Administrator. The
town seeks additional members to serve on this new com-
mittee. Interested persons should submit a brief letter of
interest to the Selectmen's attention, or send an email to
The committee's first task is to figure out how to ad-
minister a survey currently being developed by Berkshire
Connect and Pioneer Valley Connect (known as the "Con-
nects") that will assess the status of high-speed internet
access in the town. Sheffield is considered an underserved
community. Some residents have access to Verizon DSL,
others cable internet service from Time Warner (previously
Adelphia). Some use a satellite connection. Many still must
use dial-up service.
Massachusetts governor Duval Patrick recently called for a
$25 million investment in broadband infrastructure to improve
access, particularly in rural areas. The effort is being compared
to the push for rural electrification early in the last century.
The Sheffield Selectmen urge residents to participate
in the survey once it is available. To learn more about the
initiative, go to www.bconnect.org and click on the "broad-
rtVeYd Historic^ s
PRESERVING SHEFFIELD'S PAST TODAY
FOR ITS FUTURE TOMORROW
JOIN AND BE PART OF THE EXCITEMENT
The 1774 Dan Raymond House hours:
Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Mark Dewey Research Center open Monday and
Friday afternoons, l:30-4pm,
and by appointment
Old Stone Store hours are Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
and Sunday, 11a.m. to 3p.m.
159 Main Street, P.O. Box 747, Sheffield, MA 01257
Phone: 413-229-2694, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizations & Businesses
WEBSTER INCERSOLL: Inside a Sheffield landscaping firm
Webster Ingersoll, Inc., located neat
che Sheffield-Great Barrington town
lino, specializes in landscape design and
construction, horticulture and stone-
work, [he company practices a holistic
method of treating trees, shrubs and
lawns called Plant Health Care. PHC
includes vaccinating large trees against
diseases like Dutch elm disease, con-
trolling invasive weeds such as purple
loosestrife, and treating clients' proper-
ties for ticks and mosquitoes.
The company's clients include
home-owners and businesses, and
projects range from a simple planting
plan or a half-day's brush removal to
multi-stage excavation/renovation jobs
lasting many months.
The company was formed in 2002
by the merger of Webster Gardens
and John C. Ingersoll, Inc., a tree-
care company, spurred by a chance
to restore the famous gardens at the
Mount, the Edith Wharton estate in Le-
nox. The project was too large for either
company to do alone, so they worked
together for more than two years. The
partnership was so rewarding that Ben
Webster and Tom Ingersoll decided to
join forces for good.
Since then, other major projects have
included updating the gardens and paths
at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge and
installing stone walls, patios and plant-
ings for the Austen Riggs Center, also in
Tom says, "We see each property as
an individual property. It's not a rub-
ber-stamp situation. A well-thought-out
landscape is going to take less from the
environment, give more back and cost less
The company's facilities include a busy
office with a woodstove that sees daily
use in the winter. The attached work-
shop, where equipment and vehicles are
repaired, is decorated with old signs from
previous incarnations of the company
and a few wild animal skulls found on job
sites. There are two other barns for garag-
ing the trucks and storing supplies such
as hay bales and grass seed.
Outside the shop is an unpaved yard
Ben Webster and Tom Ingersoll
with piles of screened topsoil, mulch and
different grades of stone and the compa-
ny's trucks — they have names like "Big
Guy" and "Betty" — and heavy equipment
like excavators and loaders.
Ben Webster, the company president,
grew up on a farm in Litchfield, CT.
He started out in excavating and dis-
covered he enjoyed putting things back
together after the digging. He founded
Webster Gardens with his wife Cornelia,
a horticulturist, combining his skill at
working with the land with her expertise
with perennials. Cornelia now works at
Webster-Ingersoll in the front office and
as a mentor to the garden crew.
Tom Ingersoll, vice-president,
inherited John C. Ingersoll, Inc., from
his father. In 1992 Tom was majoring
in telecommunications at Michigan
State and planning a career in music
and film. He came home on vacation to
discover that his father was terminally
ill. Tom says he had some ambivalence
about getting into landscaping, but he
was determined to make it work. He
educated himself in all aspects of the
business, going to every workshop he
could find, pursuing certifications, and
eventually becoming a certified arbor-
ist. Tom has also continued his song-
writing and recording and is a noted
local musician with two CDs. He
recently launched an environment-
themed show, "New Leaf," on Great
Barrington independent radio sta-
tion WBCR-LP Sunday mornings.
The company has 30 employees.
Designer and project manager Erin
Robertson, a Northeast Organic
Farming Association-certified land
care professional, joined just before
the Mount project, which she man-
aged on site.
Crewleaders Pat Agar and Ty-
ler Moore and crew member Greg
Costello have been with the com-
pany since the mid-'90s. Pat worked
through the winter to keep the Mount
restoration on schedule, sometimes in
heated tents. Tyler s skill with natural
stone can be seen in the new native
garden at the Berkshire Co-op Market
in Great Barrington.
Operations Manager Braxton Shafi-
roff oversees the logistics of the com-
pany's day-to-day operations. Sari Hoy,
director of Plant Health Care, previously
worked in textile design in New York
City. She credits Tom with encourag-
ing her to attend the Conway School of
Landscape Design, where she trained in
environmental landscape planning. She
too has NOFA certification.
Terrence McSharry, formerly of the
Berkshire Botanical Garden, became
the company's director of horticulture
in 2007. Terrence has an encyclopedic
knowledge of plants and a passion for
site-specific design. Aided by crewlead-
ers Cindy Wood and Tanya Scarpa, the
"Hort" department maintains existing
gardens, refurbishes those that have be-
come overgrown and designs and installs
new ones. Stephanie Barlow was recently
hired as a landscape designer and project
manager. She previously worked for 19
years at Kent Gardens in Kent, CT.
Head bookkeeper Sue Funk also
joined the company in 2007. She works
with assistant bookkeeper Patri Wilson.
Liz Chaffee is office support manager,
aiding Cornelia Webster.
An average day at Webster-Ingersoll
sees the dispatch of two garden crews,
several landscape crews, possibly a
separate masonry crew and a PHC crew
to a variety of sites. A crew can work on
a single project for months, or power
through several "shorties" in a day. Every
Friday morning the entire staff gathers at
7am in front of the shop for the "round-
up," an informal meeting where Ben and
Tom review the week and look forward to
the week ahead.
The working season starts around
April 1 and continues into early winter
until the ground is too frozen to dig.
During the winter, most of the outdoor
crews go on seasonal layoff (except for
some clearing work), and the indoor staff
This year's cold, wet spring de-
layed the start of the working season
by several weeks, but the crews and
managers have been pushing hard, and
the company has caught up to where it
would be in a normal year.
Asked about the biggest challenge
the company faces, Ben and Tom agree
that it's the economy. Ben says, "People
are having to work so hard at just keep-
ing themselves sheltered and fed and
educating their kids." Tom adds, "The
struggle is to find the talent and com-
pensate them adequately, not just in
bucks but in terms of safety and security,
insurance and morale."
Both love the business, the Berkshires'
environment and the community. Ben
seves as a board member for Resources
for Renewal. Tom formerly chaired
Elm Watch and is currently chair of the
Sheffield Tree Project. The company has
contributed labor to a variety of com-
munity projects and regularly donates
consultations as fund-raising prizes for
Ben says, "I like jobs with a lot of
different elements, from shaping the land
to placing the final elements. I even like
when other contractors are involved —
that coordination and cooperation ele-
ment. The dream client is one who under-
stands the value of the work and lets us
flex our muscles, brains and creativity."
Tom says, "What gets me up in the
morning is not just the clients, but the
employees and the vendors. We've been
able to build upon a reputation and a
client base that sees our commitment to
the community. I believe it's possible to
maintain a culture of cooperation instead
of competition, especially here. There is
a way to provide security for ourselves at
the same time as caring for the land. In
fact, that's the only way to do it."
The company is located in Shef-
field at 1719 North Main St. (Route 7)
between Lane Construction and Campo
De Fiori. Phone 229-8124, and website
— Liz Chaffee
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BUSY FALL FOR THE SHEFFIELD LAND TRUST
The Sheffield Land Trust had .1 variety or
community projects and events this fall.
The Land Trust and Our Lady of the
Valley Church, have been restoring wet-
lands and rare species habitat behind the
cemetery on Salisbury Rd., in conjunc-
tion with the Conservation Commis-
sion, and the state Natural Heritage and
Endangered Species Program and Dept.
of Environmental Protection. Many com-
munity members have volunteered their
time to remove dumped wood chips and
brush, rip out bittersweet and other inva-
sives, transplant native species and install
erosion control mats.
On Sept. 23 the Land Trust hosted
Russ Cohen on its annual fall walk. Some
40 people roamed Moon on the Pond
farm on Barnum St. and found wild
edibles from nuts to lamb's quarters.
And on Oct. 20, local builder Howard
Chezar and decorator Patricia Fox hosted
a benefit for the Land Trust at the Ashley
Falls Mill, which Chezar has restored
as a unique residence. Rain the night
before filled the Konkapot River so the
falls were roaring over the restored dams,
and the sunny skies brought out so many
people that extra tours had to be added.
Above, Russ Cohen
talks about foraging
for edibles along
roadsides at the Fall
Left, Dick Magenis plants native species at the restoration site.
Above, view of the back of the mill with its two-story high window,
and the same view from inside. The event included tours of the
restored house and the grounds, with unique views of the restored
falls from the island, south of the mill. 'The area was long ago
Sheffield's industrial center, with water power running many mills.
BARTHOLOMEW'S COBBLE EVENTS
Saturdays, Nov. 3 and 1 7, 6-8pm,
Saturdays, Dec. I and l5,6-8pm.
Learn how owls are able to hunt
swiftly, accurately and silently in the
dead of night. We'll listen to owl calls
& try to draw them in. Please pre-
register. Members: adult $4; child free.
Nonmembers: adult $6; child $2.
Full moon hike
Sat., Nov. 24, 6-8pm,Sunday, Dec. 23
6-9pm. Forests and fields look much
different in the moonlight. Come
explore the sights and sounds of night-
time. Please pre-register. Members/Non-
members: adult $5; family $ 1 0.
Bartholomews Cobble, a 329 -acre property
of The Trustees of Reservations with five
miles of trails, is located on Weatogue Rd.
in Ashley Falls. It's open year-round, daily,
Sat., Nov. 10, 9am-2pm.Take
part in the 7th annual northwest
Connecticut census. Travel with
experienced birders to several lakes
and learn about migratory waterfowl.
Dress warmly. Please call in advance.
Free to all.
Hike With Santa
Sat., Dec. 22, I Oam-noon. Santa will
take children on a half-mile hike
and explain the wonders of winter.
He will also be handing out small
nature- related presents. Please pre-
register. Adults free; children $10
(includes price of the present.)
sunrise to sunset. The Visitor's Center is
open 9amA:30pm (closed Sundays and
Mondays, Dec. to March). For more infor-
mation, call 229-8600.
COBBLE GETS GRANT
The Trustees of Reservations announced
today that Bartholomews Cobble, a
National Natural Landmark located in
Ashley Falls, received a $3,260 grant from
Heritage Preservation's Conservation
Assessment Program. The grant will fund
the services of a professional conservator,
Catherine Sease of the Peabody Museum
of Natural History in New Haven, CT,
to examine the natural history collections
at the Cobble's visitors center.
Steve McMahon, Regional Direc-
tor for The Trustees of Reservations,
said, "Bartholomew's Cobble is world-
famous for its ferns and wildflowers
along the Housatonic River. Now, with
the support of Heritage Preservation,
the wonderful collections of specimens
at the visitor center will get some
NEW AUDUBON SANCTUARY ON SILVER ST. IN SHEFFIELD
On Oct. 13, Mass Audubon opened its 45th public sanctu-
ary — Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary on Silver St. in
Sheffield. Two miles of trail traverse the 248-acre property, a
mixture of rolling hayfields, wooded and shrub swamps, lime-
stone ridge and outcrops, upland deciduous and conifer forest,
and former pastures. One loop passes by the century-old,
30-foot-high lime kiln for which the sanctuary is named. The
fields afford spectacular views of Mount Everett and the valley
of the Housatonic. A trail map and informational display have
been posted by the area's new parking lot.
Naturalists have spotted more than 50 species of butter-
flies at the sanctuary as well as pileated woodpeckers, alder
flycatchers and eastern bluebirds. They've documented nearly
500 species of plants. The marble bedrock at the property
results in alkaline soil that fosters a number of unusual and
The sanctuary, nestled within the Commonwealth's
14,000-acre Schenob Brook Drainage Basin Area of Criti-
cal Environmental Concern, is the result of the generosity of
three women who were committed to conserving their land:
Edna Sheinhart, Dorothy Garfein and Marguerite Darkow.
Their graves are marked at the corner of one of the fields.
KIWANIS NEWS AND EVENTS
Awards gala. The Annual Installation
Awards Dinner was held on Sept. 29
at Limey's Restaurant. The 2007-2008
officers are: President, David Johnson,
President Elect, Patricia Hardisty, Vice
President, David Smith, Jr., Secretary,
Joseph Todd and Treasurer, Richard
Goodwin. Outgoing president Cathy
Finkle gave the President's Award
to Dave Smith, Sr. in honor of his
dedicated work for the Soup Kitchen.
Kiwanian of the Year was awarded
to Anita Diller for her work chair-
ing both the annual radiothon and
the scholarship fund. The Legion of
Honor Award went to Paul Moritz Sr.
for 30 years of service. Legion of Merit
Awards: Mike Britton, 5 years, Hilda
Banks Shapiro, 10 years, David Smith,
Jr., and Paul Kleinwald, 15 years, and
Poly Lanoue and Linda Wartella, 20
years (Kiwanis Women 1987-2007).
Fall events. The Kiwanian Steak
Roast was a large part of the fun dur-
ing Sheffield Celebration on Sept. 8. It
was a great success and raised $3,000
for the Sheffield Fire Dept. The check
was presented to Fire Chief Rick
Boardman at the Awards Dinner.
The annual radiothon, on Oct. 19, raised
money to support many Kiwanian activities
and programs. This year's on-air personali-
ties were Mike Kirchner and Dave Smith,
Sr. A big Kiwanian thank you to WSBS.
The fundraiser at Cove Bowling Lanes
started the weekend of Oct. 20 and ran for
three weekends and concludes on Sun.,
Nov 4. The money raised will help supports
youth sports activities. Kudos to the com-
mittee: Jim and Theresa Collingwood, Mike
Britton, Dave Tolly and Ray Dumant. There
were 1 1 "squads" over the six days.
The Sheffield Club's Halloween party
was held on Oct. 27 for the kindergarten
through 4 th grade children at Under-
mountain School. Chief Goblin Kiwan-
ian Cathy Finkle, probably had more fun
than the children!
Community cleanup. The last
monthly cleanup for this season will take
place on Sat., Nov. 10, and Sun., Nov.
11, along a two-mile stretch of road. The
towns participating will be Sheffield,
Alford, Egremont, Mount Washington,
Monterey, New Marlborough and Great
Holiday events. Thanksgiving Dinner
Baskets for families in Sheffield will be
distributed again this year. Christmas
gifts will be given to children in the area
and "shoebox" gifts will be sent to chil-
dren in Africa. The "shoebox" gifts are do-
nated by Kiwanian members and the club
pays for shipping. The holiday nut sale is
underway: you can purchase nuts at Silk's
Variety in Sheffield, Sears in Great Bar-
rington or from any Kiwanian.
Truck raffle. Tickets are now on sale
for $50. First prize is a GMC pick-up
truck or $15,000, second prize is $1,500
and third prize is $500. The proceeds go
to the scholarship fund. The prize draw-
ing will take place at Limey's Restaurant
on Valentine's Day. For any further infor-
mation please see Dave Smith, Jr.
Pancake breakfast. The pancake
breakfast will take place at Mt. Everett
High School on a Sunday in January. It's
put on with help from members of Stu-
dents Against Drunk Driving and chaired
by Pat Hardisty. — Gretta Willig
HISTORICAL SOCIETY EVENTS
Festival of Trees and holiday bazaar
The 9 th annual festival will be held Nov.
10-Dec. 23, Saturdays and Sundays from
10-2pm at the Stone Store. The day after
Thanksgiving, Nov. 23, will have extend-
ed hours, from llam-5pm. The Histori-
cal Society's holiday bazaar will feature
an array of handmade goods including
miniature trees, wreaths, ornaments, jew-
elry, holiday treats, gifts, raffles and more.
There will also be an upstairs holiday tag
sale and Stone Store markdowns.
Ruth Bass to speak at November
meeting. The Historical Society, in con-
junction with the Bushnell-Sage Library,
will present a book signing and talk by
Berkshire Eagle columnist Ruth Bass.
The event will take place at the Bush-
nell-Sage Library in Sheffield at 2pm.
on Sat., Nov. 10. A longtime resident of
the Berkshires, Ruth Bass has won many
awards for writing and editing and was
recently inducted into the New England
Press Association's Hall of Fame. Sarah's
Daughter, which she will read and discuss,
is her first novel. The novel is set in the
post-Civil War era in New England.
Dan Raymond House holiday social.
Join friends new and old at the festive
Keeping Room fireside for some holiday
cheer. The Historical Society will host
the social on Sun., Dec. 2, 4:30-6pm.
Music, merriment, and more!
The Dan Raymond House is open by appoint-
ment November to April. The Stone Store is
open on weekends (Saturday, 10am-2pm;
Sunday, llam-3pm), or by appointment. The
Mark Dewey Research Center is open Monday
and Friday, l:30pm-4 pm. To make an ap-
pointment, call 229-3682. The Society office is
open Tuesday-Thursday, llamApm. For more
information, contact the Sheffield Historical
Society, 159-161 Main Street, PO Box 747,
Sheffield, MA 0125, 229-2694, or email shs(a>
sheffieldhistory.org. Visit us on the web at www.
FIRE LOG — Rick Boardman, Chief
8 CO alarm. Alarm time 9:51pm. In service 10:44pm.
16 Alarm at PJ's Convenence Store. Alarm time 4:26am. In service 4:39am.
18 Wires down. Alarm time 4: 1 Sam. In service 5: 1 5am.
25 Alarm at Berkshire School. Alarm time 6:10am. In service 6:27am.
25 Alarm at John Stooky residence. Alarm time 9:45pm. In service
3 1 Car accident on West Rd. Alarm time 3:28am. In service 4:27am.
31 Alarm at 1532 Salisbury Rd. Alarm time 4:3 lam. In service 4:49am.
I Rescue of hiker at Sage's Ravine. Alarm time 6:47pm. In service
6 Alarm at 795 Ranapo Rd. Alarm time IO:35am. In service 10:48am.
6 False alarm at Roger Stevens residence. Alarm time 1:52am. In service
Car accident Alarm time 9:08am. In service 9:51am.
8 Stand by for Canaan Fire Dept. Alarm time 1 :16pm. In service 4:45pm.
8 Tree fall on wires. Alarm time 6:26pm. In service 7:06pm.
14 Car accident Alarm time 9:04pm. In service 10:18pm.
1 7 False alarm at Mt. Everett High School. Alarm time 1 :08pm. In service
23 Rescue of hiker at Sage's Ravine. Alarm time 7:38am. In service
23 Mutual aid for Great Barrington Fire Dept. with rescue. Alarm time
1 : 1 2pm. In service 2:50pm.
28 False alarm at Mt. Everett High School. Alarm time 4:03am. In service
1 3 Mutual aid for Great Barrington Fire Dept. Alarm time 4:20pm. In
1 3 Structure fire at 1 74 Valley View Rd. Alarm time 8:48pm. In service
1 5 CO alarm. Alarm time 4:44pm. In service 4:50pm.
REAL ESTATE TRANSFERS
I Joyce A Bassett to Joyce A. Bassett & Heaven Lee Davis, property at
243 Alum Hill Rd.. under $100.
8 Barry Emberlin to Natural Habitat, LLC, property at 725 N. Main St.,
10 Lawrence A. & Susan R.Agoglia to Laura Blank, property at 417 Rote
Hill Rd., $1,1 30,000.
1 7 Glenn D. & Sheryl J. Barnum to Jeffrey S. & Angel S. Rote, property at
1 58 BunceRd., $262,500.
1 7 Francis A. & Bonnie C. English to Jeffrey S. & Angel S. Rote, property at
45 Nancy Ln.. $237,500.
21 Brian Carter Jones to Edward B.Jones and Peter M.Jones, property at
927 Brush Hill Rd., $256,250.
28 Timothy P. Hewins to Michael Wayne Ary & Donna M. LeFevre,
property at 401 Hulett Hill Rd., $290,000.
3 I Lester G.Jr. & Renee L Matthews to Stephen R. Hyer, property at 25
Shunpike Rd., $230,000.
1 Galen M. & Joann Gobillot to Mark Consolini, property at 1 23 Water
Farm Rd.,$ 1 85,000.
1 4 Wayne H. Robbins to Michael J. Neal, property at 2 1 9 Bears Den Rd.,
14 Ann M. Rogers to Walter & Mary Chatham, property at 99 Park Ln.,
14 Charles & Terry Davis to Michael J. Eichstedt & Brenda L Davis,
property at 1 39 1 Home Rd., $260,000,
1 7 Eileen S. Kobrin to Simon J. Baigelmen & Bambi J. Fisher, property at
522 Rote Hill Rd., $5 1 2,500.
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Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8:00-4:30 SaL 8:30- 1 2:00
3 Local Authors' Day, Bushnell-Sage Library (p. 1 5)
3 Concert at Dewey Hall, 7:30pm (p. 2)
3 Saturday Market, Dewey Hall, 9:30am- 1 pm (p. 7)
9 Shakespeare at Mt. Everett, 7pm; also on Nov. 1 (p.9)
1 Saturday Market, Dewey Hall, 9:30am- 1 pm (p. 7)
10 Book talk by Ruth Bass, Bushnell-Sage Library, 2pm
1 1 VETERANS' DAY
1 7 Saturday Market, Dewey Hall, 9:30am- 1 pm (p. 7)
I Saturday Market, Dewey Hall, 9:30am- 1 pm (p. 7)
1 Concert at Dewey Hall, 7:30pm (p. 2)
2 SHS holiday social, 4:30-6pm (p. 25)
8 Saturday Market, Dewey Hall, 9:30am- 1 pm (p. 7)
8 Christ Church bake sale, I0am-2pm (p. 10)
8 Ashley Falls tree lighting, 4pm (p. 3)
9 Sheffield tree lighting, 6:30pm (p. 3)
1 5 Saturday Market, Dewey Hall, 9:30am- 1 pm (p. 7)
1 5 Sheffield Times deadline
31 NEWYEAR'S EVE
See also the listings for Bartholomew's Cobble on p. 25
THE SHEFFIELD TIMES WANTS YOU!
Send us your news, stories or photos. Submissions and
suggestions can be sent to email@example.com
or P.O. Box 1 339, Sheffield, MA 01 257
ONGOING CALENDAR ITEMS
Meetings or events that occur on a less than weekly basis are noted
by number- i.e. "1 s ' , "3 rd " indicates meetings the first and third times
that day occurs in the month. * indicates appointment needed.
Food Assistance Program, Old Parish Church, 9-1 0:30am
Board of Selectmen, Town Hall, 7pm, 1 st , 3 rd
Board of Health, Town Hall, 7pm, 2 nd
Meals on Wheels, Mon-Fri, except holidays
Foot care clinic, Dewey Hall/Senior Ctr., 1 st
Senior Center physical fitness, 9am
Children's Story Hour, Library, 10am
Building Inspector, Town Hall, Tues. 7am-1pm
Senior Center "Lawn Chair Movie," 11:30am
Ashley Falls Historic District Commission, Town Hall, 6:30pm, 2 nd
National Alliance for the Mentally III Support Group, Fairview
Hospital Library, 6:30pm, 4 th
Industrial Development Commission, Town Hall, 7:30pm, last
Kiwanis Club, Limey's Restaurant, 6:30pm
Senior Center Knitting Group, 1pm
Senior Center physical fitness, 9am
Parent-Child Playgroup, Greenwoods Community Church, 9:30-11 :30am
Planning Board, Town Hall, 7pm, 2 nd , 4 th (Wed., Nov. 28, instead of
Building Inspector, Town Hall, Thurs. 3pm-7 pm
* Blood Pressure Clinic, Dewey Hall/Senior Center, 9am-12pm, 2 nd
* Hearing Testing available, Senior Center, 3 rd
Conservation Commission, Town Hall, 7pm, 2 nd , 4 th
Contra Dancing, Sheffield Grange, Rte 7, 8:30pm, 4 th
Men's Group, Old Parish, 7:45am, 2 nd
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Emily H. & John Alexander
Frederick A. Bangs
Robert J & Debra A. Beham
Mary E. Cane
Hugo E. Carlson
Anthony M. & Marjorie E. Consolini
Eleanor F. Cross
Nancy B. Emery
Natalie H. Funk
Ronald & Candace Lindner
Antonio & Maian Malanti
Robert & Ann Shanks
The annual Sheffield Fair drew crowds
despite the rain. Clockwise from left: Root
beer floats in front of Silk's Variety. Don
Ward at the Sheffield Association table.
Old Parish Church raffles a quilt. The
Glory B Clown Troupe entertains the
crowd. Jimmy Larkin puts the hay "steps"
onto the wagon before taking a full load of
fairgoers out on a hay ride.
Sheffield in Celebration 2007 commemorative
tiles are still available at Neighborgoods!
MORE SHEFFIELD IN CELEBRATION PHOTOS INSIDE ON PAGES 14 AND 15
Community Newsletter for Shef-
field & Ashley Falls, MA
P.O. Box 1339
Sheffield, MA 01257